Here is a simple question that I never thought to ask.
If I have an expected final gravity of say 1.012, and I reach that in 72 hours, do I now transfer to slow down fermentation and clean up? Or do I allow it to ferment completely and live with the results?
I don't think transfering it would slow it down. The active yeast are in solution. You may even make them stronger if you transfer gets O2 in the mixture. The only way to stop is to cold crash or filter out, but then your yeast never get to clean up their mess.
Just let it go. It won't be able to go much lower. If so, then you have other issues.
Like Jeff said, don't transfer; let it finish out completely (maybe raise the temp a couple degrees).
Where did you get this "expected" final gravity? Was it from the recipe or brewing software? If so, they're just guesses... there are too many variables to calculate it exactly. The best way to estimate the final gravity is to do a forced fermentation on your wort.
That;s pretty much what I though Jeff. Thank you for verifying.
"Showboat" Sam: I did get that info from brewing software but the style guidelines say it should not exceed 5.2% abv. Right now I am at 1.052 dropped to 1.010 which puts me at 5.6%. Seems like minor details to me but I want to pay attention to them.